By Dusty J. Cruise
Missouri Enterprise President and Chief Executive Officer
Last month, after a comprehensive and robust vetting selection process, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded organizations in 11 states and Puerto Rico, five-year funding agreements to support the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
Missouri Enterprise was selected to continue being the designated MEP center providing a wide range of services to small and medium-sized manufacturers across the state of Missouri. Missouri Enterprise has been the designated MEP Center for Missouri since 1993.
On behalf of our entire Missouri Enterprise staff I would like to thank the selecting team at NIST MEP and all those organizations, public officials and manufacturers here in Missouri who supported our application.
“The MEP centers connect local manufacturers with the resources and services necessary to meet new market challenges,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The Department of Commerce supports these public-private partnerships that improve this sector’s global competitiveness, strengthen our economy and create jobs in communities across the nation.”
Awards were also announced to go to organizations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Utah and Vermont. Continued funding is subject to the availability of annual appropriations and successful annual reviews.
“Every day, the MEP system demonstrates the value of strong public-private partnership,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Willie E. May. “This funding will support the continuation and expansion of important efforts in outreach, education and collaboration that provide real benefit to thousands of manufacturers annually.”
Proposals were reviewed by government and independent experts and evaluated against a number of criteria, including demonstration of a thorough understanding of market needs and how proposed service offerings would meet those needs. The reviewers also looked at the proposed business models, performance measurements and metrics, partnership potential, staff qualifications and program management, as well as financial and nonfederal cost-share plans.
For every dollar of federal investment across the nation, MEP clients generate nearly $17 in new sales, which translates into $2.3 billion in new sales annually. And for every $1,900 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one U.S. manufacturing job. Since 1988, the MEP system as a whole, has worked with more than 86,000 manufacturers, leading to $96.4 billion in sales and $15.7 billion in cost savings, and it has helped create nearly 800,000 jobs across the nation.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.
Missouri Enterprise also receives support from the Missouri Technology Corporation.